Monday, 12 February 2018

Humez Bros. Life of Bongo Bill (USA 1976), by request

A DIY type opera concept album presumably from a handful of University students from Cambridge, Mass.,  mixing sun worshiping Egyptian memes, the Epic of Gilgamesh, operatic singing, and some bluegrass or barbershop quartet tunes-- mostly accompanied by the piano, not the usual orchestral or chamber instruments: like, what?

Check out how the baroque recitativo played on harpsichord (as in Mozart's Don Giovanni) sounds here laid down by these kids:

Even more out there is the description of the story, to be found on the blurb on the back of the sleeve:

  Bongo Bill is born of the union of the sun with Peter Leitmoor Tief.  He subsequently courts and wins Anna McCassor, a ray of sunlight.  But (boy loses girl) how are they to live happily ever after if, owing to her singular physiology, Anna is obliged to absent herself from Bill daily from dusk to dawn?  The solution is plain enough: Bill will simply circle the globe daily with Anna.  As the story is about to end happily, the question of Peter's spiritual well-being is anastrophically raised and rapidly resolved, he will have nightly congress with Nut.  The sun is praised and they live happily ever after.

  Happily ever after you say?  A life of perpetual sunlight would make any man dream of flight to the realm of night.  Bongo Bill is no different from you or me: tired and disgruntled, he ponders Zeno's paradoxes and falls asleep.  If the moon falls into the marketplace in ancient Anatolia, Bongo Bill follows.  In a local tavern a weathered ferryman recalls the legendary Gilgamesh and his quests.  Bill awakens from the cyclic dream of escape to the fact that Anna has borne him a son.

Unfortunately the linkage between side a's Egyptian and Sun themes, and side b's Epic of Gilgamesh with the death of Enkidu, is highly awkward in my opinion.

The finale:

Let's recall my wife's infamous comments which are so a propos here, 'they were all stoned back then...'

Better is the poem at the top of the verso:

I wait for the night
When my Nut will arrive
With the heliacal rising
Of Sothis

On the tips of her breasts
And her milky way mons
Will my members illumined
Tonight delightfully
Touch and alight

For a light second miming
The heliacal rising
Of Sothis



  2. Thank you! Julian, you do not accidentally have an album of the German band Lied Des Teufels -2
    -1975, Hollisch Heibe Rockmusik. I just can not find it.